Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Handmade Soap = Heaven!

Etsy is a great place full of handmade treasures, but in my humble opinion, the greatest thing available on etsy is handmade soap. There are a ton of friendly and knowledgeable soapers on Etsy willing to answer your every question about soap. Search the forums for these people, and you might find you learn more about soap than you ever wanted to know!
Learning about handmade soap is great, but using handmade soap is an experience not to be missed. I have purchased soap from several soapers on etsy and I will never use commercially made soap again. I've never had sensitive or dry skin, so I never realized what I was missing until now.
I am currently using Cranberry Orange Soap from Swan Mountain Soaps available at Swan also makes other wonderful bath and body products and some seasonal jellies that are incredibly delicious! This is my second bar of soap from this shop, and I am a huge fan. When I get out of the shower, my skin doesn't feel tight or dry or oily, it simply feels clean and wonderful! The scent in the shower is delicious, and the lather is incredible!
I have been wanting to purchase some Alaskan beer soap from Swan Mountain for my husband, but he is proving to be a tough convert to handmade soap. I'm going to keep buying it for him, though. Eventually he will come to the dark side.

I did purchase this soap, Bay Rum, from the incredible soaper Dennis Anderson available at It smells incredible, and I can't wait for my husband's supply of body wash to run out so that he will actually use it.
Dennis has an incredible selection of soaps and other bath and body products available in his shop. If you are a lip balm addict, I recommend checking this shop out!
I highly recommend that you check out all the available soaps on etsy, ask questions and try different soaps. Eventually, you too will find soap nirvana.
And if you are on my Christmas list, you just might be getting some awesome handmade soap for Christmas, you never know.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Homefront Team Winter Challenge!

One of the fun parts of being on Etsy is being a part of the Homefront Team, a team of military spouses and such. Right now, we have a Homefront Team Winter Challenge going on. Check it out here:

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I promised an update

So, I bet you're all wondering how the vendor booth thing went on Saturday, aren't you? Ah, I know you forgot all about it, it's ok. :)
Saturday morning I woke up bright and early at 5:00. Ok, it was early, but there was nothing bright about it! I got myself all gussied up and finished loading the car before setting off to my friends house. We met up, and things were going great. We had everything we needed and we were a little ahead of schedule so we stopped at a coffee shop to grab a morning pick-me-up, make mine decaf. When we got to the venue, things were up and going and they were ready for us to check in.
They took us to our vendor spot, where I had to stand and scratch my head for a minute. My friend had taken care of all of the getting and going and had really invited me along to fill out her booth a little more. She had purchased two spots, each spot was supposed to be for an 8 foot table, so we brought two eight foot tables. The lady told us at that time that the additional spot which was purchased at the same price as the original was only supposed to be a 6 foot table, "but they'd let it slide". OOOkayyy. Then we couldn't for the life of us figure out the configuration they wanted our tables in. We were squeezed in behind two other vendor booths, and they explained that the shoppers were to come into our little "U" shape, except the top of the U was over half covered by another table. Yes, we were hidden in the back of this stupid little place.
Well, we set up, and unfortunately, I forgot my camera. Fortunately, the booth turned out kind of cute. We had muslin draped to the floor and the tops of the tables were covered in a purple velvet. I had one half of a table, and I hung my necklaces from branches stuck in two banana leaf vases and arranged my earrings on a wooden lazy susan. It was very organic looking.
The conference started and the organizers came to chase us out of our booths to "participate". I'm sorry, but I came to sell jewelry and I wasn't very comfortable leaving a table full of merchandise behind. They insisted that there was security and that we needed to leave our booth, so we did. We didn't go participate either.
Let me explain about not participating. This was a women's conference based on sharing Christian faith and growing in that faith. I'm cool with that. It's just that I am of the slightly more conservative Lutheran flavor, and this conference was of the Southern Baptist/Pentecostal/charismatic flavor. I have nothing against different flavors of religion, but I'd rather not participate in things that I might not necessarily agree with or feel comfortable doing.
So my booth partner and I went outside and talked, and then went inside and found an inconspicuous place to stand and talk and watch our booth. Then the vendors were fed lunch, a lunch which we were required to buy for $10. A lunch that consisted of a mayo-pasta-chicken salad and a roll. It was like purchasing food at the airport.
The conference broke for lunch and the ladies were given 45 minutes to lunch and shop. I think two people came by during the lunch break. One bought a cell phone charm from my booth partner. Another asked for my business card.
After lunch we looked at the program and saw that the conference lasted two more hours then ended with "shopping" again at the very end. Some vendors started breaking down right away, but our booth was too complicated to break down without disturbing the conference, so my booth partner and I went to Goodwill for a half hour.
We came back as the conference was wrapping up and I fervently held out the hope that someone would come by the booth at the end of the conference. HA!
Lesson learned. We won't be participating in that conference again, but we did figure out a really cute booth set-up and I have a bunch more inventory now that I can add to my etsy shop. It wasn't a total bust. (At least that's what I keep telling myself.)

Friday, October 10, 2008

A Show Tomorrow.

Tomorrow I am sharing a vendor booth with a friend of mine at a women's conference. I'm looking forward to the opportunity, but I'm also a bit nervous. I'll tell you how it went on Tuesday!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Craft Show Display, Yea or Nay?

I'm not gonna lie, I'm broke. I have a small part of a vendor table at a conference this weekend and I'm trying to come up with a cute and economical way to display my small amount of wares. I tried this idea this morning. What do you think? (Oh yeah, there will be a tablecloth.)

Saturday, October 4, 2008

My blog, someone else's blog

I decided the other day that I was a little tired of my blog layout. I have tried and tried to change my blog by using free templates I've found on the web to no avail. I'm thisclose to paying someone to spiffy up this dang blog!
Here's a pretty blog on the interwebs, featuring my etsy shop.
After you read it, go check out America's Handmade Homefront's lovely shops on Hyena cart. There's some really cool stuff there!